Pawtucket’s offense scored six early runs against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre starter Kyle Davies and Henry Owens earned his first victory of the season as the PawSox beat the RailRiders, 6-2, in the opener of a four-game series Friday night at PNC Field. The PawSox (10-5) scored three runs in the first, two in the second and then a single tally in the third against Davies (1-1), who allowed nine hits in three innings of work. Owens (1-0) wiggled his way through five frames while allowing two runs on five hits and four walks. He struck out five Scranton batters.
Jackie Bradley, Jr., Blake Swihart and Travis Shaw opened the game with three consecutive singles against Davies to immediately load the bases. After Bryce Brentz struck out, Quintin Berry opened the scoring with a two-run double to right.
Luke Montz’s sacrifice fly put the PawSox in front 3-0 after the first. Pawtucket then collected three more hits in the second including an RBI single by Swihart. Bradley, Jr. picked up an RBI on a groundout as the visitors led 5-0 after 1 ½ innings.
Slade Heathcott’s two-out, two-run triple against Owens in the second cut the Scranton deficit to 5-2, but the PawSox responded with a run in the third on Deven Marrero’s sacrifice fly.
Each team’s bullpen excelled, as neither side was able to plate a run after the third inning. Dalier Hinojosa (two innings, no hits), Heath Hembree (one inning, no hits) and Tommy Layne (one inning, no hits) finished the final four innings behind Owens without allowing a hit.
Swihart (3-for-4, BB) collected three of Pawtucket’s 12 hits while Jemile Weeks went 2-for-4 with a run scored. Heathcott paced the RailRiders offense by going 2-for-3 with a walk and two RBIs.
The teams will continue the series with a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon, with two seven-inning games scheduled to begin at 4:05pm. In game one, Pawtucket left-hander Eddie Rodriguez (1-0, 2.31) will get the start against righty Bryan Mitchell (1-1, 2.51). Right-hander Matt Barnes (0-0, 5.63) is expected to start for the PawSox in the nightcap, while the RailRiders have not yet named a starting pitcher.